Nice TraditionThe Tweeds go to the local Christmas market every year, and pretty much know what to expect. In fact, if you've been to one Christmas market in Europe, you've been to them all. But it's a nice introduction to the festive period.
We watch the carol singers and Morris men whilst drinking the first glasses of mulled wine that mark the start of the Christmas season in earnest.
We visit the market at night when the market looks its prettiest. We're looking for ambiance, telling ourselves from past experience that we'll have little interest in the handicrafts or the food and drink on display. Yet, after finishing the wine and eating a sausage or a piece of strudel or two, perhaps it's the Christmas magic (and the mulled wine) starting to take effect, but we start to see things that we would like to include in our own Christmas celebrations.
Christmas highWe buy a few Christmas baubles at first, they're small and room can be found for them. But then follows a hock of ham, a Christmas pudding, garlands, roast chestnuts and so on. Suddenly, we have a feeling of such festive bonhomie it's akin to the Christmas high Scrooge has at the end of a A Christmas Carol when he sends a boy to 'buy the biggest turkey in the shop'. They are clever these Christmas markets.